Storage Jars with Chalkboard Lids

Here’s my second project for chalkboard paint and spent canning jar lids. Once again, husband’s amazing painting skills came to the rescue since I’m couch bound. In my quest to come up with creative reuses of used canning lids, countertop storage jars were at the top of my list.

As you know, I’ve been hoarding canning jars for actual canning this season, but I have a few of the Ball Elite half pint jars that I do not like to use for canning at all. They’re not as space-efficient as standard jars in the pantry, and frankly, they’re more expensive. I got them a few years ago at a deep discount at Kmart, which made them a great find at the time as I was building up my jar collection, but they’re just not what I prefer to use these days. Making them perfect candidates for other projects.

You can never have to many attractive countertop storage jars in my opinion – they’re great for tea, cinnamon sugar, bulk spices, garlic – you name it. So I thought I’d like to have a pair with lids where I could label the contents. And since the contents of the jars might change from time to time, chalkboard lids fit the bill perfectly – I can change the label easily and quickly when ever I change what’s in the jar.

The instructions for painting the lids are more or less the same as for my earlier post on Mini Chalkboard Magnets, but I’ll post them again here for easy reference –

The only supplies you need are spent canning jar lids, a can of chalkboard spray paint, and some steel wool.

Here’s a shot of the lids all ready for their spray paint treatment (as well as lids for my Mini Chalkboard Magnets – might as well do them all in one go) –

First you’ll want to wash the lids in soapy water to make sure they’re clean, and scrub the surfaces lightly with the steel wool. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface. Dry them off well. You can either lay them flat on a couple sheets of newspaper, or do what painter pros like my husband do and attach them to a paint board (just a piece of thick scrap cardboard) with a little tape. It makes it easier to make sure they get coated evenly and you don’t run into the issue of having them get stuck to the newspaper.

Husband did three coats on the lids to make sure the paint was even and they’d have a surface that would last. If you’ve never spray painted before, it’s important to remember a couple of points – keep the nozzle equidistant from what you’re spraying at all times – don’t spray in an arc. Secondly, don’t just start spraying right on your object – start off to one side, then pass over your target slowly and evenly – and remember to follow through past the other side by a few inches too. This will ensure a smooth, even coat without runs or drips. He waited 10-15 minutes between each coat for the paint to mostly dry. It’s important to do three coats – multiple thin coats is better than one thick coat. Here’s a shot of the lids all painted up –

Next up is the hardest part – the paint will need 24 hours to set up before use. So set them aside overnight and resist the temptation to put them on your jars right away. After the overnight cure, fit them onto your jars with the rings. This is what they look like in their new home on our counter  –

And as mentioned before – I would’ve liked to show these with writing on them, but chalk has proven to be nearly impossible to find in our neighborhood. I’m sure there will be a ton of chalk in the stores the second we’re not looking for it too… but anyway.

Again, if you don’t happen to have these supplies sitting around like I do, they really won’t break the bank, especially considering you’re going to get a lot more projects than just this one out of the paint and glue. A bottle of Weldbond will run you about $3.00, chalkboard spray paint is about $8.00, and a package of magnets for around $3.00. So for under fifteen bucks, you’ll have enough for this project and countless others.   

And for more information on spray-painting in general (the ultimate cheap mini makeover for anything), check out this Tips for Spraypainting sheet that I discovered via my Pinterest boards.

Mini Chalkboard Magnets

As promised, we dug out the can of chalkboard spray paint and went to town with it. Well, husband went to town since I am very much on lock down on the couch. He has stepped up to being actively involved in Apartment Farm craft projects so that the fun can continue (and also, he’s just a pro at painting – you can see for yourself on his dorkorific gamer blog Empire of Ghosts).

With canning season here in a few weeks, I’ve been wondering how to reuse the old lids from last season – to ensure the best seal on your canned goods so they don’t go bad, you can only use the insert lids once. I’ve got a fair number of lids sitting around that I don’t want to just throw out, so I thought of two easy projects to reuse them. This first one transforms a trio of lids into mini chalkboard magnets – great for jotting down short grocery lists, phone messages, notes, etcetera.

The only supplies you need are spent canning jar lids, a can of chalkboard spray paint, strong glue (like Gorilla or Weldbond), small magnets (I used some flat magnet strips I had in my craft stash) and some steel wool. Our supplies for painting all assembled –

Here’s a shot of the lids all ready for their spray paint treatment (as well as jars/lids for my second project – might as well do them all in one go) –

First you’ll want to wash the lids in soapy water to make sure they’re clean, and scrub the surfaces lightly with the steel wool. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface. Dry them off well. You can either lay them flat on a couple sheets of newspaper, or do what painter pros like my husband do and attach them to a paint board (just a piece of thick scrap cardboard) with a little tape. It makes it easier to make sure they get coated evenly and you don’t run into the issue of having them get stuck to the newspaper.

Husband did three coats on the lids to make sure the paint was even and they’d have a surface that would last. If you’ve never spray painted before, it’s important to remember a couple of points – keep the nozzle equidistant from what you’re spraying at all times – don’t spray in an arc. Secondly, don’t just start spraying right on your object – start off to one side, then pass over your target slowly and evenly – and remember to follow through past the other side by a few inches too. This will ensure a smooth, even coat without runs or drips. He waited 10-15 minutes between each coat for the paint to mostly dry. It’s important to do three coats – multiple thin coats is better than one thick coat. Here’s a shot of the lids all painted up –

Once the paint has had a chance to dry for a few hours, you can attach the magnets. Just affix one magnet in the center of each lid on the backside using a little glue. Next up is the hardest part – both the paint and the glue will need 24 hours to set up before use. So set them aside overnight and resist the temptation to put them up right away. After the overnight cure, this is what they look like in their new home on our fridge –

Now I wanted to show these chalkboards with writing on them, but for some bizarre reason chalk is impossible to find in our neck of the woods. Husband tried the grocery store, dollar store, and two drugstores and couldn’t find any at all. Really odd. But rest assured, these little boards could be written on, if only we had the chalk!

A simple, useful project that reuses something that would otherwise be thrown away – that’s my kind of crafting. Oh, and if you don’t happen to have these supplies sitting around like I do, they really won’t break the bank, especially considering you’re going to get a lot more projects than just this one out of the paint and glue. A bottle of Weldbond will run you about $3.00, chalkboard spray paint is about $8.00, and a package of magnets for around $3.00. So for under fifteen bucks, you’ll have enough for this project and countless others.   

And for more information on spray-painting in general (the ultimate cheap mini makeover for anything), check out this Tips for Spraypainting sheet that I discovered via my Pinterest boards.

Project Bed Rest

Yes, you read that correctly. I took a fairly bad fall down the stairs at the train station Friday coming home from work. The miracle of it is that the baby is fine. My ankle took the brunt of the fall though, so it did not fair so well. I’m on bed rest for the forseeable future. I can only use crutches to get up for bathroom breaks and the like – which is about all I can manage this pregnant anyhow.

So, that’s the state of things. But I’m trying to keep on top of the things that I want and need to do from the couch. Husband is covering the major bases of course – preparing the meals, keeping the house tidy, running the errands, making sure I’m okay and helping me out. To keep myself motivated and in a positive frame of mind, I’ve decided to outline all the things I can still get done while sitting and laying down.

– Cut the quilt blocks for the baby’s quilt. I’ve been procrastinating on this one because it’s been so hot, but we have the air on and I’ve got nowhere to go.

– Work on the wedding/honeymoon albums. Six years later, maybe I’ll finish them while on bed rest!

– Prep fruit for the freezer so we have pie fillings this winter. We currently have a pint of cherries that need pitting.

– Brainstorm chalkboard paint projects. I’ve got a can that I’ve been meaning to use. I thought of one project that might just work, so if I can convince husband to head to the alley and spray up a few things for me, I’ll post about it this weekend.

– Enter some recipe contests. It’s been ages since I’ve entered any, so I need to make up a short list of the ones that sound interesting to me and see if anything in my repertoire will fit the bill.

That’s probably enough to keep me busy through the weekend. I’m really glad I’ve been so nesty in the last few weeks – the house is in order and all of the major baby stuff is organized. I’m glad those things are taken care of, so now I don’t have to worry about them while my ankle recovers. I’ll know more after I see an orthopedic surgeon in a week, but hopefully the news at that visit will be good!

There’s still tomato canning season ahead of us, and I wanted to make up a bunch of meals for the freezer before the baby arrives, so cross your fingers we get good news at the doctor! Either way, I can do some of the prep for those things while seated, and husband has already volunteered to help me can tomatoes and make the meals – we might not be able to do as many as I had planned, but as long as I can get a batch or two of tomatoes put up and a couple of dinners, I’ll be happy.